Cablegate: Trafficking in Persons: Turkish Media Attention
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 002198
DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, EUR/PGI, EUR/SE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD PREF TU TIP IN TURKEY
SUBJECT: TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS: TURKISH MEDIA ATTENTION
1. (U) In response to G/TIP inquiries about anti-TIP
public information campaigns, post provides as examples
the following TIP press reports published in daily
newspapers and circulated nationwide. Text of the
articles (originally published in Turkish) is provided
through unofficial local FSN translation.
2. (U) Published in the Friday, April 16, 2004 edition of
Aksam Newspaper: BEGIN TEXT:
By Nagehan ALCI
'In the Struggle Against Human Trafficking, We Skipped
In the fight against human trafficking, countries are
put in three categories. The first tier includes
countries that actively fight trafficking. The second
tier includes countries with some effort and the third
includes countries that do nothing. According to a
listing prepared by the US, Turkey was in the third
group. But last September, Turkey initiated important
developments. The MFA forwarded a package of
information it had prepared about what had been done
to fight against human trafficking. Turkey was raised
to the second group. As a result, Turkey is eligible
for credits from the IMF and the World Bank.
The Human Resources Development Foundation (HRDF),
which had made the first move in the fight against
human trafficking, went to the Interior Ministry and
asked for cooperation. Upon their proposal they
signed a protocol with the Interior Ministry on
September 4, 2003. The protocol is currently being
implemented. The director general of HRDF, Dr. Demet
Gural explained what was done in this field and
Turkey's mishaps as follows: "Change in the law
played the most important role in Turkey's rising in
the category groups. With Section 201(b), human
trafficking was defined for the first time as a crime
and perpetrators can be punished. Earlier, there was
the Palermo Protocol and Supplemental Protocol To
Fight Against Human Trafficking. However, crime was
not defined clearly. Now those who are apprehended as
traffickers can be sentenced to heavy imprisonment and
With the amendment in the law, Turkey has started
fighting against this crime in a more organized way.
A national task force was established. A separate
unit including the HRDF, was established within this
force under the coordination of the MFA. According to
the new arrangements a victim can get a permit to stay
in Turkey for one month even if he or she does not
have a passport. However, shelters still do not
exist. Funding is now being sought for this purpose.
Victims stay at Turkish National Police or Jandarma
guesthouses. If they apply to the foundation saying
"I am a victim of human trafficking and want to go
back to my country," if it is decided that that person
is a victim, then her or his ticket will be bought for
them and necessary arrangements be made to send back
to his or her home country in a secure way.
Following the change in the law, necessary training
works have started. High-level Justice Ministry
officials were trained by the Foundation in late
January in two groups in Istanbul. Istanbul State
Security Court judges and prosecutors, Heavy Penal
Court judges and prosecutors also attended these
training sessions. The second leg of the training
included Turkish National Police officers. They were
told about the importance of this issue. Experts from
IOM and British Police organizations as well as
educators from HRDF and legal counselors attended
these sessions. These training works have started in
Istanbul but they will be held in places such as
Izmir, Mugla, Antalya and Trabzon where human
trafficking is most intense.
Establishment of a Counseling Hotline via the
Foundation is necessary in order to make the public
know about the works. It is also necessary for
victims to seek assistance easily. The MFA also needs
to prepare brochures in which necessary telephone
numbers and accomplishments are written. Especially
Russian-speaking staff members are needed. Being put
on the second category is not enough. The US
continues its close observation. Washington officials
were in our country last month. Our works are
constantly followed. There is the danger that if
practices do not continue, we will fall back to the
third group. The target should be going up to the
HRDF was established 1988. It works in the field of
population and development. Their aim is to improve
the situation of people under difficult conditions.
They also provide information and services to people
in population control and healthy population. END
3. (U) Also published in the Friday, April 16, 2004
edition of Aksam Newspaper: BEGIN TEXT:
'Nine Thousand Judges to Get Human Trafficking
Justice Ministry Education Department Judge Ilyas
Pehlivan says judges and prosecutors are being trained
in the fight against human trafficking. He said, "the
US has some criteria about human trafficking. With
the amended law, we aim to educate judges and
prosecutors under the light of these criteria. As the
Education department, we have training sessions
outside the country. We want to continue these works
and educate 9,000 judges." END TEXT.
4. (U) Published in the Tuesday, April 13, 2004 edition
of Milliyet Newspaper, page 12: BEGIN TEXT:
In an operation in Bodrum last week, a woman of
Azeri origin named Afag Duman (42 years old) was
arrested on charges of human trafficking.
Duman used policemen and Jandarma members to get
information about possible police operations in
advance. A total of 15 people were detained and
12 of them including Duman and her two assistants
Rena Gocen and Linda Kurt were arrested and sent
to Izmir's F-type prison.
The operation, code-named "Basak Operasyonu"
(Operation Spike), unearthed a trafficking
network in the region. Duman had established
contact with international human trafficking
groups. Aside from Duman, people in connection
with the network in Istanbul were also
Reports indicate Sema Eryuzlu in Istanbul sent
women who were brought to Turkey with tourist
visas from former East Block countries (primarily
Moldova), to Bodrum. Duman and her network were
marketing these women to men in return for money.
It was also discovered that the network sold
"worn out" women to Makbule Bucak in Izmir,
Suyelman Meydan and Talip Ipek in Aydin and Sahin
Bozkurt in Denizli for 1500 or 2000 USD for them
to be sent to other sub-provinces.
Duman was sending these women to the addresses of
the buyers by taxi drivers named Turan Onay, Nami
Kilic and Cengiz Cobankara. These women were
kept under control by violence and threat of men
from the southeast.
Investigators noted that Duman was putting money
in the bank account of a woman named Sema Gursel
for her to conduct procedures for problematic,
deported women. Duman also had a man named Ejder
Toprak in Istanbul who issues fake identity
cards. She was not sending back the women whose
visa periods expired.
She was also using her influence over the public
officials in Bodrum. It was claimed that Duman
was paying cellular phone bills of jandarma
members named Y.D., C.A., S.G., E.B., N.B.A. and
policemen H.H.Y., S.M.O., B.S., C.E., and Y.K.
for them to inform her before the operations
against her and also she was sending women to
them. END TEXT.
The daily also printed a chart showing the women
5. (U) Published in the Tuesday, March 30, 2004 edition
of Radikal Newspaper: BEGIN TEXT:
The IKGV (Foundation Human Resources Developkment
[HRDF]) signed a protocol in September 2003 for
supporting victims of human trafficking in
The protocol will be fully implemented in two
years. Turkey will protect victims who are
foreign women forced into prostitution by human
The IKGV will open a Shelter and a Counseling
Center for psychological, physical health and
legal services for such women.
Police will provide security to the shelter.
Women will be protected in this shelter rather
than being detained before deportation.
Such women will receive one-month humanitarian
visa and they will be sent to the country she
prefers. Turkey will pay the bill.
In order to prevent the same women from being
trapped by human traffickers again, the NGOs and
officials in the country she is going will be
informed as well.
Women also will be able to use the 24-hour
hotline. Women will either file complaints or
receive legal support from this line.
IKGV Director General Demet Gural said that many
of these women come to Turkey to work under
She said, "If we can find the funds, we
immediately will open the center and the shelter.
We are expecting support from the governor's
office and social service institutions. If we
can find a building at least, we will open the
The paper wrote that the State Department in its
2003 report placed Turkey in Tier 3 for not
showing enough effort to eradicate human
trafficking and not abiding by minimum standards.
With the works conducted by Turkey in the past
year, Turkey was moved into Tier 2. END TEXT.